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March 14th, 2011

To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Every significant change in my life has been triggered by something. It’s often unplanned, unwanted, and painful to live through but it has usually been out of my hands so all I could do is figure out the best way to deal with it and move on. The other big changes in my life were triggered by decisions that I made spontaneously but have never regretted. My family has been displaced by two wars and I came to college in the U.S. based on a random suggestion from a classmate in high school. I picked my college major, Physics, in the middle of my visa interview – I thought Physics would be less common for a female and might increase my chances of getting the U.S. student visa.

While in college, I realized that I was bisexual. Rather, I realized that I loved someone so much that I’d want to live with them for the rest of my life and that I didn’t care that we were the same sex. Sex and intimacy came later. But the trigger was my boyfriend, at the time, getting frustrated with how much time I spent with my girlfriend and telling me that she and I may as well be married. That’s when it struck me that I was attracted to her. Unfortunately, for my boyfriend, he was right. She and I shared a life together for many years before another triggering event caused us to split up. It was a mutual decision and I’m ok with it now. She’s a fantastic person and doing something she loves now which probably would not have happened if we stayed together.

There is a trigger for this trip as well. I had a really fun, sometimes difficult, relationship with another beautiful lady for three years. I thought we had something that could grow into a shared life, living together and perhaps even raising a family together. I knew it would be a long wait since she is younger than I am and was still going to college and planned to go on to graduate school in a different country. I was willing to wait but she wasn’t sure if she could stay committed to a long term and long distance relationship so we broke up. I won’t lie that I wasn’t devastated. After my breakup with CY, I thought that there could be no chance of me ever finding someone I loved so deeply again. So when I fell in love like that again and then lost it, I was sure that I would never be able to share that kind of love with anyone else again. I’m still worried that my luck has run out but I have to move on.

In any case, the trigger was our breakup. I had no desire to buy a house and live in it by myself. I wasn’t about to jump into another relationship and it didn’t make sense to me to keep living my life with work and everything as it was with this huge hole of a missing relationship on my mind. It was time to go away for a while. I had been talking about going on a Trans-Siberian Railway trip with a friend of mine for about six years so why not do that?

But there is more. There would be no point in me running away from my troubles if I plan to come back to the same place afterward. I’d have to change myself and my thinking and grow from the experience so I’ve decided to explore my creative side by putting together a documentary of sorts on my trip. I’m a theater lover and I love the art of telling stories through performance and other media. I also really enjoy radio news and stories and have learned, through NPR and KCRW, that stories can be much more vivid when presented in only audio form because your brain can fill in the unique details of the story in much more interesting ways than when watching the same story through video. So I’ve decided to document this trip through audio, pictures and this blog.

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  1. April 4th, 2011 at 23:29 | #1

    What an honor to be the first person to comment on this post! I’m so excited for you Sandy… so much so that I am going to have to practically chain myself to my desk to keep from tagging along with you!!

    Your trip will be filled with amazing firsts. May you enjoy every step of the JOURNEY and when (and if) you come back, may your days be filled, more than ever before, with all those things you’ve found that bring the utmost meaning to your life.

  2. April 5th, 2011 at 01:02 | #2

    Sandy: In the truest sense, I wish to “second” what Ryan has stated above. And, I promise you one of two things: Either, I will have to chain Ryan to his desk to keep him from running off with you OR I will join him and we will both be there to join you on some segment of your journey:-) ATB!

  3. Tae
    April 5th, 2011 at 05:46 | #3

    Thank you for inviting me to follow along on your adventure! I look forward to reading, and living vicariously through your blog postings :)

  4. xg
    April 6th, 2011 at 08:11 | #4

    @Ryan Ray
    Ryan, I remember back around 2006 when we worked together, you asked me one day if I am doing what I’m passionate about and my response was something tentative about how I love the people that I work with but I’m not sure about the work itself. Well, you planted something in my mind that I’ve thought a lot about since and this trip and my little audio project is something that I’m extremely passionate about. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm and energy for life.

  5. xg
    April 6th, 2011 at 08:12 | #5

    @Jesse Martinez
    Jesse, perhaps you and Ryan would like to join me to celebrate Oktoberfest in Germany?

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